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2018 Museum Leadership Myths and Realities

burke-museum-exterior-flowers (1)
  1. .....Fosters connections with local community and history in relevant and sustained ways by building beneficial partnerships, raising the level of civic dialogues .....

  2. The director is responsible for developing positive community relations and partnerships with national, state, local organizations and for developing strategic initiatives in areas of community outreach, educational programming, exhibits, public history and tourism.

  3. The Museum’s new leader should embrace its deeply held values, especially the active practice of diversity, inclusion, engagement and the critical representation of our multiple communities, their histories and current issues. But....apart from engagement, many of our 10 myths are still alive, healthy, and posing as the truth. And, it's 2018 not 2013, and there are new conundrums and problems for museum leaders. Here are five that we think need some work:

  4. That understanding community is more than an anecdotal exercise. It is data-driven. Read Susie Wilkening and Colleen Dilenschneider to see what we mean.

  5. The digital world is here to stay. Museums--even tiny ones--need to get a grip.

  6. Museums are community partners. They build, they renovate, they employ, they use utilities, they sell things. Non-profit doesn't mean money doesn't matter. Just because you're not paying shareholders, doesn't mean you can't be a downtown anchor.

  7. Maybe, just maybe, there's a recognition that an all-white, all-privileged field is not such a great thing and creating a more diverse field means making it a better paid field.

  8. That leadership can be learned, and organizations can invest in it just like they invest in anything else; building talent is as important as constructing a new wing. So what do you think? What leadership sectors do you think the museum world needs to work on? Joan Baldwin Image: Burke Museum, Seattle, WA

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